Perfectionists Are Procrastinators

Congrats—you got your first real estate deal! Contracts are ready to go. Better proof them, have the broker review them, get a friend to take a look, and ask advice from a mentor before submitting them.

Oh, and, of course, you should have the lawyer check them!

"I am even ready to do this?! I should probably take some more classes!" Oooh... the deal is now gone! In real estate, opportunities come and go quickly.

If you are looking to be ready, you will never get your career off the ground.

I have made no secret about how I hated putting myself out there publicly, from door-knocking to my internet presence. The constant criticism you receive can be daunting. It is sort of like when I am writing: even after all the grammar and spelling errors are fixed, there are still sentence structures and communication techniques that can be improved. The point is, there is always room for improvement. That can be daunting. So instead, people will just do nothing. This is perfectionism leading to procrastination.

Sooner or later, you have to say, "I do not care—I want to do this and I don't care if it sucks." You need to get the ball rolling. I am still very self-conscious about putting myself out there in the public like this. But the reality is, I am better off for having done it.

At some point it all becomes subjective.

If you're constantly criticizing yourself, then there is always more work to be done. I can submit my article to 100 different editors, one after the other, and they will all make some modification. Eventually, they'll be changing based only on personal preference.

Have you ever moved your furniture around in a room, then looked and moved it again, then again, then sat down for a while but felt the need to keep moving things? Same with getting your real estate career going. At some point, you are just moving the furniture around.

Contingent-based thinking is a trap.

A true perfectionist thinks their self-worth is contingent upon achieving perfection in a given situation. For example, if I want to market myself well online, I need to write a post every day. Writing a complete post daily is not necessarily a realistic goal for me. But perfectionism does not allow for partial completion. So instead of doing any work at all... I would rather take a nap. That is not an option! So I do my best and realize that there will not be a perfect post at the perfect time every day.

When you are trying to be perfect, the end result is black and white. You either succeed at your task or fail. When you fail, the task doesn't go away. It piles up, the work gets too hard to handle, and then a nice nap is really the only option.

Oftentimes, perfectionism isn't logical, so you can't fix the problem by admitting, "It's unrealistic to get a listing this month."

Redefine your success.

Perfectionists tend to have a very short-term, tangible vision of success. "I make a commission or I do not." The idea of "let it go" does not always work for them. This can keep you from accomplishing your larger goals. If you can see that your idea of perfection is very short-sighted, it'll be easier to let go and settle for the best you can do and just to try and watch things move along in the direction you desire.